College classrooms are increasingly using PBL approaches to teaching and learning. Previous studies have reported that authenticity of problems is a critical factor in PBL. However, there has been little research on instructional design strategies for developing authentic problems. In order to enhance authenticity, this study employed a user-design approach for developing problems, allowing learners to both select and write problems. Then, this study examined the effects of the user-design approach on authenticity, performance, and satisfaction based on a survey taken from 134 university students enrolled in a PBL course. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was employed to analyze the data; the results showed that students’ participation in designing problems increases learning authenticity, which in turn enhances task performance and satisfaction. Finally, the results of this study also supported the mediation effects of the level of learning authenticity on student task performance.